Media disservice– CNN Coverage of Berkshire Hathaway’s new stake in Dollar General (DG)

CNN Money ran an article on 08/15/11 titled “Buffet Adds $58 Million Stake in Dollar General” with the opening line “If you want to invest like Warren Buffett, start by adding Dollar General to your portfolio and offloading shares of Kraft”. Anyone glancing at the headline and the first lines would gather Warren Buffet to be mighty bullish on Dollar General and bearish on Kraft. The complete truth however went largely missing. There is no denying $58 million is a solid chunk of change – but it pales in comparison to Buffet’s investment portfolio size which towers at over $115 Billion (~$48B Cash, ~$67B Equity). This brings the value of the new stake in Dollar General to be just 0.05% of his total investments. It is also a fact that Buffet bid adieu to six million shares of Kraft during the second quarter. The article conveniently omitted to mention that his remaining stake of 99.5 Million Shares of Kraft is valued at around $3.5 Billion which is around 3% of the value of his total investments. The naked truth is that Berkshire Hathaway’s current stake in Kraft is valued at over sixty times the value of his new Dollar General stake. The article naively implies getting rid of Kraft and buying Dollar General is a sure bet to be an investor like Buffet.

Rather than quoting large numbers, let us cut to the chase and compare how changes in the share price of Dollar General and Kraft will impact Berkshire Hathaway’s overall portfolio value. The task at hand is to have a 1% impact on Berkshire Hathaway’s investment portfolio, and for that the overall portfolio value has to increase or decrease by around $1.15B. The table below shows how Dollar General’s (DG) and Kraft’s (KFT) stock prices should move to have the 1% impact on Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio:













Stock Berkshire Hathaway Holdings ValueCurrent Price per ShareProjected Price Per Share for 1% Performance Imapct
Dollar General (DG)$58M$32.19$670.44
Kraft (KFT)$3.5B$34.68$46.07


Dollar General’s price per share has to go up to $670.44 from the current share price of $32.19 for Berkshire Hathaway’s Dollar General Holdings to have a 1% positive performance impact on the overall portfolio. By the same token Kraft’s price per share only needs to go up from $34.68 to $46.07 to have the same impact. To summarize, the CNN articles’ premise is completely misleading - the portfolio adjustments in the second quarter 2011 are very minor compared to the overall portfolio size to warrant any such judgment call. Furthermore, Berkshire Hathaway’s 2nd quarter 2011 adjustments may have nothing to do with Warren Buffet’s stock selection. It is highly likely that the Dollar General (DG) pick was by Todd Combs, the hedge fund manager Buffet tapped in late 2010, as the amount involved is comparatively little. While the article by CNN Money did a disservice to the investing community, articles from Bloomberg and Morningstar did convey reputable information. Readers can also find the information by comparing Berkshire Hathaway’s latest 13F SEC filing with their previous filing.

No comments :

Labels

401k ( 15 ) Abad Turtle Beach ( 1 ) Abrams Capital Management ( 5 ) Acoustic Electric Guitars ( 1 ) Acoustic Guitars ( 1 ) ACT ( 1 ) Activist ( 4 ) Address Change ( 2 ) Advanced Placement ( 4 ) air asia ( 2 ) airlines ( 2 ) Akre Capital Management ( 18 ) Alex Roepers ( 5 ) AP ( 4 ) apartments ( 2 ) Appaloosa ( 15 ) ARIUS ( 1 ) Arlington Value Capital ( 3 ) Atlantic Investment Management ( 5 ) Ayemenem ( 1 ) Bangalore ( 3 ) Bangkok ( 2 ) Bannerghatta National Park ( 1 ) barbuda ( 2 ) Battery Park ( 1 ) Baupost ( 2 ) Baupost Group ( 17 ) bay area ( 2 ) BDCs ( 3 ) Benjamin Graham ( 2 ) Benjamin Graham Model ( 2 ) Berijam Lake ( 2 ) Berkshire Hathaway ( 32 ) best sites ( 9 ) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ( 20 ) Bill Ackman ( 19 ) Bill Gates ( 21 ) Blue Ridge Capital ( 16 ) Blum Capital Partners ( 12 ) books ( 4 ) Boone Pickens ( 2 ) BP Capital Management ( 2 ) Brave Warrior ( 3 ) Brave Warrior Advisors ( 12 ) british honduras ( 2 ) Bruce Berkowitz ( 19 ) Bruce Fund ( 18 ) Camcorders ( 3 ) canada ( 4 ) cancun ( 3 ) CANROYs ( 7 ) Cantillon ( 12 ) carl icahn ( 9 ) Carl Ichan ( 8 ) casino ( 3 ) Casio ( 2 ) CBRE ( 2 ) CEF ( 2 ) Charles Akre ( 15 ) Charlie Munger ( 20 ) Chase Coleman ( 16 ) Chou Associates ( 25 ) Christmas gifts ( 7 ) Christopher H. Browne ( 7 ) Chuck Akre ( 13 ) Cisco ( 2 ) Class Action Settlements ( 2 ) CLEP ( 1 ) Coatue Management ( 20 ) Cochin ( 2 ) coin collecting ( 266 ) collectibles ( 266 ) Consumer Product Reviews ( 29 ) cook islands ( 2 ) coonoor ( 2 ) Covered Calls ( 2 ) credai ( 4 ) Daily Journal ( 20 ) Dalal Street ( 8 ) Dan Loeb ( 10 ) DAT ( 1 ) David Abrams ( 5 ) David Einhorn ( 22 ) David Swensen ( 17 ) David Tepper ( 15 ) David Winters ( 15 ) DCF ( 2 ) Digital Piano ( 3 ) Dinakar Singh ( 20 ) Donald Yacktman ( 10 ) dry bulk shipping ( 2 ) Duquesne ( 25 ) Education ( 37 ) Edward Lampert ( 21 ) Egerton Capital ( 20 ) Egypt ( 3 ) Elementary Education ( 10 ) Elementary School Textbooks ( 5 ) eReaders ( 2 ) Eric Mindich ( 13 ) ESL Investments ( 14 ) ESPP ( 6 ) ETF ( 2 ) ETN ( 2 ) Eton Park ( 13 ) Everyday Musings ( 58 ) Exam Prep ( 7 ) Exiting the rat race - how to? ( 19 ) EXPLORE ( 1 ) Fair Value Estimates ( 4 ) Fairfax Financial ( 4 ) Fairfax Financial Holdings ( 14 ) Fairholme ( 19 ) Fairpointe ( 20 ) Family Office ( 8 ) FD Laddering ( 1 ) Financial Independence ( 93 ) Fisher Asset Management ( 10 ) Flash Camcorders ( 3 ) flat ( 4 ) flats ( 2 ) Flip ( 3 ) Francis Chou ( 25 ) free ( 17 ) frugal ( 3 ) Frugal Living ( 34 ) Fund Holdings ( 890 ) futures ( 2 ) FVE ( 2 ) gambling ( 3 ) garmin ( 2 ) Genting ( 2 ) george soros ( 22 ) giveaway ( 15 ) Glenn Greenberg ( 16 ) Glenview Capital ( 10 ) GMAT ( 1 ) Google ( 2 ) Gotham Asset Management ( 7 ) gps ( 5 ) GRE ( 1 ) Greenlight Capital ( 22 ) Guitars ( 3 ) Half Marathon ( 2 ) Hawaii ( 2 ) Hedge Funds ( 912 ) HELOC ( 1 ) High School Education ( 7 ) High School Textbooks ( 6 ) HOA ( 3 ) hobby ( 17 ) holiday shopping ( 7 ) Holidays ( 3 ) Holyland ( 11 ) Home Improvement ( 2 ) home ownership ( 5 ) Homes ( 18 ) Homeschool ( 18 ) Houses ( 2 ) Housing ( 3 ) Hykon ( 2 ) Ian Cumming ( 15 ) Icahn Enterprises ( 6 ) india real estate ( 5 ) Infinuvo ( 6 ) Insurance ( 2 ) invesco ( 17 ) investing strategies ( 2 ) Investment Portfolio ( 94 ) Investment Research ( 10 ) Investments ( 7 ) iRobot ( 5 ) Irving Kahn ( 10 ) israel ( 5 ) Jason Maynard ( 10 ) Jefferies ( 2 ) Jeffrey Bruce ( 20 ) Jeffrey Ubben ( 12 ) Jerusalem ( 2 ) Jim Chanos ( 20 ) Joel Greenblatt ( 7 ) John Armitage ( 20 ) John Griffin ( 16 ) John Paulson ( 17 ) Joho Capital ( 15 ) Jordan ( 3 ) Joseph Steinberg ( 9 ) Julian Robertson ( 4 ) Kahn Brothers ( 10 ) Kakkanad ( 4 ) Kanyakumari ( 2 ) Kawai ( 2 ) Ken Fisher ( 10 ) kerala real estate ( 5 ) Kids ( 49 ) Kids Yamaha ( 3 ) Kindle ( 2 ) kochi ( 8 ) Kodaikanal ( 2 ) Korg ( 2 ) Kraft ( 2 ) Kuala Lumpur ( 2 ) KWA ( 2 ) Kynikos ( 20 ) laptop ( 5 ) Larry Robbins ( 10 ) Las Vegas ( 2 ) Leon Cooperman ( 21 ) Leucadia ( 2 ) Leucadia National ( 13 ) Lone Pine Capital ( 9 ) long ( 6 ) long call ( 2 ) long puts ( 3 ) Lou Simpson ( 15 ) LSAT ( 1 ) Mahabalipuram ( 2 ) Malaysia ( 3 ) Marathon ( 2 ) Mark McGoldrick ( 10 ) Markel ( 20 ) Mason Hawkins ( 4 ) MCAT ( 1 ) Melinda Gates ( 13 ) memorabilia ( 266 ) MFP Investors ( 20 ) Michael Dell ( 22 ) Michael Price ( 20 ) Middle School Education ( 4 ) Middle School Textbooks ( 3 ) Mini Notebook ( 3 ) MODUS ( 1 ) Mohnish Pabrai ( 21 ) mortgage ( 2 ) Mount Kellett ( 10 ) MSD Capital ( 22 ) Music ( 6 ) Mutual Funds ( 5 ) mysore ( 2 ) Nelson Peltz ( 9 ) Netbook ( 4 ) Notebook ( 3 ) numismatics ( 266 ) O-Duster ( 1 ) Oahu ( 2 ) offers ( 2 ) Ole Andreas Halvorsen ( 10 ) Omega Advisors ( 21 ) online tax ( 4 ) ooty ( 2 ) Options ( 4 ) Pabrai Fund ( 17 ) passive income ( 7 ) pattaya ( 2 ) Paulson & Company ( 7 ) Paulson and Company ( 9 ) PEG ( 2 ) Pershing Square ( 19 ) Phil Fisher ( 5 ) philately ( 283 ) Philippe Laffont ( 20 ) Piano ( 9 ) PLAN Test ( 1 ) portfolio ( 4 ) Prem Watsa ( 17 ) product reviews ( 13 ) Property Taxes ( 2 ) PSAT ( 1 ) R2I ( 24 ) R2I Finances ( 3 ) R2I Housing ( 5 ) Raising Kids ( 41 ) Rat Race ( 15 ) RBS Partners ( 19 ) reading ( 5 ) real estate ( 6 ) Reducing Expenses ( 2 ) REIT ( 3 ) Retirement Portfolio ( 9 ) Reviews ( 81 ) Richard C. Blum ( 12 ) Robert Bruce ( 20 ) Robert Karr ( 15 ) Robotic Vacuum ( 4 ) Roland ( 2 ) Roomba ( 10 ) schooling ( 2 ) Sears ( 12 ) seeking alpha ( 2 ) Services - Reviews ( 33 ) Seth Klarman ( 19 ) Shipping ( 5 ) Shopping ( 3 ) short ( 5 ) short calls ( 2 ) short put ( 2 ) short puts ( 2 ) short selling ( 13 ) Ski ( 5 ) Sled ( 4 ) Solar Stocks ( 13 ) Soros Fund Management ( 14 ) Southeastern Asset Management ( 4 ) Southwest ( 2 ) spin-offs ( 2 ) SQ Advisors ( 15 ) stamp collecting ( 283 ) Stanley Druckenmiller ( 25 ) Statue of Liberty ( 2 ) Stephen Mandel ( 9 ) Stock Analysis ( 84 ) Stock Investments ( 4 ) Stock Portfolio Updates ( 6 ) stocks ( 3 ) summer ( 2 ) tax ( 6 ) TaxAct ( 3 ) TaxCut ( 1 ) Teacher's Editions ( 5 ) Technology ( 4 ) Test Prep ( 11 ) Thailand ( 3 ) Thekkady ( 2 ) theme park ( 2 ) Third Point ( 10 ) Thomas Gayner ( 20 ) Thyra Zerhusen ( 20 ) Tiger Cub ( 32 ) Tiger Global ( 17 ) Tiger Management ( 13 ) Time Square ( 2 ) TOEFL ( 1 ) TPG-Axon ( 20 ) Travel ( 278 ) Travel Reviews ( 82 ) Trian Fund Holdings ( 9 ) trip report ( 21 ) TurboTax ( 3 ) Tweedy Browne ( 10 ) Vacations ( 28 ) value investing ( 13 ) ValueAct ( 5 ) ValueAct Holdings ( 6 ) Vancouver ( 2 ) Video ( 3 ) Viking Global ( 10 ) Wallace Weitz ( 10 ) Warren Buffett ( 31 ) Wayanad ( 4 ) Weitz Investment Management ( 9 ) wilbur ross ( 17 ) William Von Mueffling ( 12 ) Wintergreen Advisors ( 15 ) Yacktman Asset Management ( 10 ) Yale Endowment ( 17 ) Yale University ( 7 ) Yamaha ( 7 ) YDP ( 1 ) YPG ( 1 )